spousal maintenance

Spousal Maintenance and Alimony in Texas


What is Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal Maintenance is a type of Spousal Support wherein a divorced person continues to support his or her ex-spouse after a divorce.

This usually happens when the latter can prove to the court that he or she does not have the means to provide for himself or herself. It’s also awarded to an ex-spouse who is a person with disability or is in primary custody of a child with disability. The disability can either be physical or mental.

In instances wherein one is convicted for an act of family violence during the marriage or while the divorce suit is pending, the guilty spouse may also be entitled to support the innocent spouse even after the awarding of the divorce decree.

 

How does the Court act on it?

Sometimes, the Court may consider other circumstances such as a divorcee not being able to support himself or herself for reasons caused by the recently terminated marriage.

The Court will, of course, take into account the capacity of the divorcee who is asked to support to pay. It is important to know whether he or she can afford it. If it’s not the case, the Court shall divide their marital assets accordingly to help both spouses get on their feet after the divorce.

After the Court finds one to be eligible to receive Support Maintenance, the Court will determine the amount of the actual award by taking into consideration the educational background, employment history, contributions to marital assets, efforts to find employment, and even history of infidelity of the requesting spouse among many other factors.

Texas has a cap on Spousal Maintenance. It cannot be more than $5000 every month or 20% of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income, but, the Court ultimately has the power to decide whether to deny or grant requesting spouse Spousal Maintenance and set the amount to be given and for how long.

 

Before you decide whether to ask for Spousal Support or not, you must consider a lot of factors because this may even affect your relationship with your ex-spouse. This relationship matters a lot especially if you have a common child because not only is he or she your ex-spouse but also your child’s co-parent.

It is best to consult with a lawyer to be further clarified on what you can do so as not to be disadvantaged.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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